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GAA boss warns fans on Pearse Stadium parking



GAA warning on Pearse Stadium parking

The head of Galway GAA County Board has said a ‘culture change’ is needed amongst supporters in relation to car parking, as the organisation takes steps to allay a long-standing dispute with residents near Pearse Stadium.

County Secretary and CEO John Hynes said the behaviour of some supporters is “inexcusable” when it comes to parking.

Now, the GAA has drawn up an extensive new parking management plan in response to an Enforcement Notice issued by the City Council.

When permission for the redevelopment of the Pearse Stadium was granted in 1994, a condition stipulated that 500 parking spaces were required.

“It’s our responsibility to provide adequate parking spaces for the people attending games. We did originally have an agreement from Salthill-Knocknacarra that we could use the Prairie – 500 spaces there. That formed part of our original planning application and we got permission for Pearse Stadium on that basis.

“Those spaces were never taken up for one reason or another. In recent years, the pitch is being used more and more, and it would be impractical to use it as a carpark,” Mr Hynes told the Galway City Tribune.

The GAA’s new parking plan involves three ‘levels’ of games, with marshalls in place to direct traffic to carparks.

  • Level 1: Around 35 events per annum, with attendance of less than 1,000 people. Minimum of five days notice. Gardaí will be requested to allocate appropriate resources and place bollards in neighbourhood. Carparking available in Scoil Einde, Coláiste Einde and Arus Bothar na Trá. Marshalls and signage in place.
  • Level 2: Around nine per annum, with attendance of less than 5,000. Club and inter-county matches. Minimum seven days notice. Parking as with Level 1, along with St Mary’s College, T O’Higgins in Shantalla and South Park. Signage and an additional four marshalls in place.
  • Level 3: Around two per annum, attendance of more than 30,000 (such as a Connacht Final with 30,000 capacity). Comprehensive event and traffic management plan developed with Gardaí and City Council, as well as Civil Defence. At least seven days notice. Car parks as Level 1 and 2, along with Park and Ride from Moneenageisha College; GMIT; Trappers Inn; Thermo King; Castlegar Hurling Club and Mervue School. (Total Park & Ride spaces 2,094). Minimum of ten marshalls.

“We are fully aware of the residents’ concerns and personally, I empathise with them. It does cause inconvenience to the neighbours whenever we’ve got games here,” said Mr Hynes.

He said that club games – around 35 per year – (Level 1 fixtures) cause the biggest parking problems.

“Even though they attract the least amount [on average 400 supporters], they seem to be the most troublesome with some supporters parking their cars irresponsibly, illegally, without any concern or thought for the local residents. That’s inexcusable, we don’t condone that behaviour.

“We are convinced we have come up with more than enough parking spaces to meet the condition of the original planning and we would be confident the Enforcement Notice would be lifted shortly.

“We are committed to putting our own marshalls on the road to direct cars to spaces because the reality is the Gardaí don’t have the resources. All they [marshalls] can do is advise people that you’re parking in a residential area and you may be liable to a ticket and direct them to the nearest carpark,” said Mr Hynes.

The GAA head said that changing the culture of supporters is a key issue facing the organisation.

“They shouldn’t block residents in their homes or wheels up on the footpath preventing wheelchairs and buggies from passing. That’s a culture change that has to come about.”

He added that he expects the Park & Ride service for Level 3 events will be successful.

“With the known traffic situation of Galway City and trying to get across the Corrib to the other side of the city, Connacht supporters in Mayo, Roscommon, Sligo, Leitrim and indeed people from North Galway are very familiar with the difficulty of travelling between Claregalway and Pearse Stadium; it’s renowned.

“If we can provide a Park & Ride facility that is serviced regularly where people don’t have to wait more than ten or 15 minutes, it will be successful, we’re absolutely convinced.

“It’s a no-brainer, it’s an educational process. It’s a mindset change that we have to get across with GAA supporters. We are committed to minimising the disruption that games and events cause to [residents] and I fully understand their issues, concerns and frustrations.

“If the Gardaí had the resources and were patrolling the areas, we wouldn’t have half the issues of complaints that we have today, but the reality is the Gardaí don’t have the resources,” said Mr Hynes.


Cars down to one-way system on Salthill Promenade



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A one-way system of traffic may be introduced along the Promenade in Salthill to facilitate the introduction of temporary cycle lanes.

The suggestion appeared to come as a shock to some City Council members who supported the cycle lane in a vote last month – one has called for a “full discussion again” on what exactly they had actually approved.

Councillors had voted 17-1 in favour of the principle of providing a cycleway that will stretch from Grattan Road all along the Prom.

The motion that passed at the September meeting proposed that the Council “shall urgently seek” to create a two-way segregated cycle track on a temporary basis along the coastal side of the Prom.

It was agreed that from the Blackrock Tower junction to the Barna Road would be a one-way cycle track.

The motion was voted on without debate, which meant Council officials did not have an opportunity to question the proposal.

At a meeting on Monday, the debate was revisited when Uinsinn Finn, Director of Services for Transportation, indicated that a one-way traffic system would be introduced in Salthill to facilitate a two-way cycle lane from Grattan Road to Blackrock.

This could mean that the outbound lane of traffic, closest to the sea, could be closed to all traffic bar bikes.

Mr Finn said that he would have sought clarity at the previous meeting – if debate were allowed – about what was meant by ‘temporary’.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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Galway Christmas Market gets go-ahead for next month



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – It’s the first real sign of a restoration of normality in terms of the retail and hospitality sectors in the city – the return of the Christmas Market next month to Eyre Square.

This week, the City Council’s planning department gave the go-ahead for the outdoor retail and gourmet food ‘spread’ that has been part of the festive season in Galway since 2010.

The exception was last year when, like so many other public gatherings since the Covid crisis broke in March 2020, the event had to be cancelled because of public health concerns.

Christmas Market Organiser, Maria Moynihan Lee, Managing Director of Milestone Inventive, confirmed to the Galway City Tribune, that she had received official confirmation on Thursday from the City Council of the go-ahead being given for the event.

“This is really wonderful news for the city and especially so in terms of the retail and hospitality sectors. For every €1 spent at the market another €3 will be spent on the high street – this will be a real boost for Galway,” she said.

Maria Moynihan Lee confirmed that the market would have an earlier than usual start of Friday, November 12 and would run through until the Wednesday evening of December 22.

(Photo: Declan Colohan)

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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Work/live units form part of new Galway City affordable housing project



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Five ‘live/work’ units form part of the design of a new affordable and social housing development planned for Ballybane.

The mixed development unanimously approved by city councillors this week will provide 103 apartments and houses in the Coillte Mhuirlinne estate.

A total of 85 homes will be affordable, although the details of how much they will cost to purchase have yet to be decided. The remaining 20%, or 18 units, will be social housing. Some €4.6 million in Government funding has already been approved for the social housing aspect of the plan.

Included in the design of the housing development is a ‘live/work’ element.

The Council’s Acting Director of Services for Housing, Tom Prendergast, explained that the ground floor of the five live/work three-storey units would contain an office, retail or commercial unit for service providers with three-bedroom maisonettes over the next two floors.

“It would be envisioned that these five units would be small-scale businesses run by the occupants living above.

“There would be little passing trade for any commerciality of these units so we would envisage small local services similar to a hairdresser, accountant, physiotherapist would occupy these units as an extension of ‘working from home’,” the report to city councillors said.

Mr Prendergast said the concept was similar to people living over their shops in towns and city centres. A crèche will also be built close to the commercial units.

Mayor of Galway, Colette Connolly, said she hoped lessons were learned from the previous commercial property development in Ballybane where units “were empty for 15 years” and some public bodies could not afford the rents.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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